Video of the August 20th police board hearing courtesy of Kuumba Lynx.
Video of the September 17th police board hearing courtesy of Kuumba Lynx.
On May 19, 2016, organizers and community members around the United States engaged in #SayHerName actions in support of women and femmes who have been harmed by state violence. This national day of action should have coincided with the start of the termination proceedings for Dante Servin, the Chicago police officer who murdered 22-year-old Rekia Boyd on March 22, 2012. Instead, Servin resigned on May 17, two days before an evidentiary hearing was scheduled to begin: as the last stage in his firing process.
For four years, Chicago activists and community members, led by Rekia's family, have marched, protested, held teach-ins and attended Chicago Police Board meetings demanding that Servin be held accountable for taking Rekia's young life. Every step of the way, Rekia's family and supporters have been met with bureaucratic red tape preventing justice. From unnecessarily prolonged review periods, to the three years it took for the criminal case to face trial, to the technicality that enabled Servin to walk scot-free even though the presiding judge stated that he should have been charged with first-degree murder, each step illustrated the city government's culture of complicity and "blue wall of silence."
Throughout these four years, every single aspect of government dragged its feet to remain in compliance with the unnecessary bureaucratic rules in place to fire a Chicago cop. Only after mounting public pressure were charges even filed. Most Chicago police killings result in no action; Servin's criminal trial reflected the first time a Chicago cop had faced such charges in 17 years. Only after sustained public pressure demanding justice for Rekia, coupled with international outrage over the Laquan McDonald execution, did McCarthy recommend Servin's firing. Every step of the way, the system failed and prevented justice from occurring, revealing how invested the existing Chicago court and police systems are in protecting police at all costs, even when they commit first-degree murder.
Servin was only the second cop IPRA recommended to fire for a shooting since its inception in 2007. Now that Servin has resigned, he can begin collecting his pension when he turns 50 in July 2018. His salary, as of December 31, 2015, was $97,044.
Dante Servin has literally gotten away with murder.
Servin knew he was going to be fired for murdering Rekia Boyd. His resignation is a response to the increasing mass public pressure calling for his firing led by the disciplined organizing of Rekia's family, who have remained steadfast in the demand that he be held accountable for her murder. The fact that it took four years for Servin to face a termination hearing for what Judge Porter called first-degree murder is unconscionable and unacceptable.
As Chicago has seen with the recent police murders of Pierre Loury, Bettie Jones and Quintonio LeGrier, Chicago police continue to feel invincible because they are well aware that there is no system of real accountability, even when they commit the most atrocious of crimes: taking an innocent human life. The Chicago police officer who executed Laquan McDonald by shooting him 16 times was hired by the Fraternal Order of Police as he faces murder charges brought forth only after a judge mandated the release of the video footage detailing the murder.
Rahm Emanuel told The Chicago Tribune that he will "fix" this system. The mayor said: "Laquan McDonald is a wake-up call to all of us. It's reminder that there's a lot broken. And I'm determined to fix things that have been broken throughout the system. When I say that, you -- it's not just the criminal justice. It's opportunity. It's a promise. And when I say 'opportunity,' meaning the opportunity to get a job and get a skill set. It's the opportunity through mentoring, to give young men a role model and a father figure they wouldn't have."
These statements, while directed at the subject of a murder committed by police, only serve as further evidence that Mayor Emanuel is incapable and unwilling to address the rampant violence and abuse perpetrated by police in his city. Instead of addressing the myriad ways in which police terror has plagued the people of Chicago, he references young men needing role models and father figures. This is both ridiculous and insulting. Rekia Boyd did not die because she needed a skill set; she was in fact set to begin nursing school the following week on April 3. Instead, her funeral occurred that day. Rekia died because Dante Servin murdered her. Continue Reading Here
Check out a legal analysis of the Dante Servin verdict which acquitted the Detective who killed Rekia Boyd of all charges because the judge stated that he should have been charged with first degree murder and not involuntary manslaughter.
We demand the immediate revoking of Dante Servin's pension.
Join us by signing the petition.
This is the least that the City can do.
Join us in #RememberingRekia by saying #DontPayDante.
Read HERE about how Chicago labor organizations have come together to demand the immediate firing of Dante Servin.
These were taken by Sarah Jane Rhee on May 15, 2015 at a vigil organized by DePaul University students.